“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Serving self

“A chip on the shoulder.” “Somebody owes me something.” “Life didn’t treat me good enough.” “I deserve/d better.”
We are all born this way. We are all children of wrath. Our nature says, “Serve me!” and we spend our days serving self and expecting everyone around us serve us, too. The “Me first, you last” attitude sends out signals even by the way we look. If we aren’t always seeking to uplift others, we send out signals of self-service. And we live in a world of like-minded self-servers, so we don’t get far in our effort to be served first before someone else bigger and stronger lets us know that they are to be served first.
We are a piranha dropped into a huge river of millions of other piranhas. God has left us in the soup we have created so that we don’t get out of hand. Every piranha needs to be converted into a minnow, and our Creator can do it. But, He won’t until we know we are a piranha.
Our self-pity and complaining about the troubles of life demonstrate that self is still in control. Fallen human nature still has the ascendency; our basic selfishness presides. We can’t show any mercy without expecting a reward. The chip on our shoulder transforms our acts of justice into revenge. We are like our father the devil, “who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger.” (Isa. 14:6).
What we need is a lightning bolt to kill us. It needs to have enough high voltage to bring to life another mind that can see the abomination of self-service. It needs to wake up faculties that can serve our Creator first, others next, and ourselves last. We need a new principle of life, one that eschews self-serving and keeps us humble. That principle is love, disinterested love, through acceptance with God, peace with God.
There is only one source for that love, the Spirit of Christ. His love, received into the soul, will turn on the principle of life that brings instant happiness to the soul, and peace with everyone around us. “For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.” (Mar. 9:49,50).
As salt is a drying agent, absorbing every hint of moisture, so does the principle instilled by the Spirit of the Lord absorb all selfishness and self-serving. Self-indulgence, self-pleasure, self-pity, self-exaltation, self-justification, etc. all must leave with the Spirit of Jesus enters when love and humility. Self put down, and the soul is at rest. The rest of Jesus drives Satan away with his self-pleasing temptations. We are free to develop into the creation we were originally made to be. We were made in God’s image, made to be like Him. Godliness is God-likeness, like Christ, the Servant of servants.
This restoration to paradise was the first promise given in the Bible. “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her Seed; It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.” (Gen. 3:15). The Spirit of Christ would destroy the serpent, but not without Christ having His eternal life destroyed. But the Edenic promise spoke of His heel, not His head. Satan could not destroy Christ’s divinity or divine nature, only His human soul given through Eve would die, and the holy lineage she would create.
This enmity was the Holy Spirit that is at odds with the wrathful, self-serving spirit of Satan. There is no co-existence with them both. Satan can adopt the look of some good with his evil mind, but the Spirit of God through His Son never dilutes its principle of pure selflessness. Satan only mingles the two in the insidious effort to slowly remove all good and leave only evil. His spirit trembles and goes into convulsion in the presence of pure selflessness. He must flee such an environment.
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” (Gal. 5:22,23). But the fruit of Satan is “adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like.” (Gal. 5:19-21).
The “emulations” (Gr. zēlos, zeal, ardor, indignation) looks like righteousness. But such righteousness is not righteous indignation, rather, self-driven revenge. The Spirit of love is not present. The principle of unselfish service is not its guiding power. The purpose of Satan in such a host is to destroy men’s lives, and not to save them. If often looks religious, and fanatically so.
“For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.” (Rom. 10:2). “They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” (John 16:2).
Mercy cannot be the guiding principle when the spirit of Satan is present. Such hearts are full of thorns and briers.
“But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” (Jas. 3:14-18).
“If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.” (Heb. 6:6-8).
There is only one remedy for a devilish heart, the Spirit of Christ.
“Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.…
And it shall come to pass in that day, that a man shall nourish a young cow, and two sheep;
And it shall come to pass, for the abundance of milk that they shall give he shall eat butter: for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the land.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that every place shall be, where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, it shall even be for briers and thorns.
With arrows and with bows shall men come thither; because all the land shall become briers and thorns.
And on all hills that shall be digged with the mattock, there shall not come thither the fear of briers and thorns: but it shall be for the sending forth of oxen, and for the treading of lesser cattle.” (Isa. 7:14,15,21-25).
Without the butter and honey of Christ, only briers and thorns are the result. Let’s get with Jesus and eschew the devilish spirit of Satan.


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